FIG Peer Review Journal


Discipline Issues for Licensed Cadastral Surveyors in New Zealand (3332)

Brian J Coutts (New Zealand)
Mr. Brian Coutts
Senior Lecturer
University of Otago
School of Surveying
P O Box 56
New Zealand
Corresponding author Mr. Brian Coutts (email: brian.coutts[at], tel.: + 64 3 479 7609)

[ abstract ] [ handouts ] [ handouts ]

Published on the web 2009-02-16
Received 2008-12-01 / Accepted 2009-02-16
This paper is one of selection of papers published for the FIG Working Week 2009 in Eilat, Israel and has undergone the FIG Peer Review Process.

FIG Working Week 2009
ISBN 978-87-90907-73-0 ISSN 2307-4086


The integrity of the national cadastre depends, at least in part, on the competency and the honesty of the surveyors who are authorised to contribute data to it. While trust must be placed in those who are ‘licensed’ or ‘registered’ or in some other respect permitted to provide such data, checks and audits are required to ensure that standards are maintained. The New Zealand Cadastral Survey Act 2002 (THE Act) requires surveyors contributing to the cadastre to have an annual licence issued by the Cadastral Surveyors Licensing Board (CSLB). The Board issues standards that licence holders must meet and their surveys are checked by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) before being accepted into the cadastral record. Where discrepancies are found they will be investigated and reported on. The Surveyor General will then consider the magnitude and significance of any errors found, and may bring the licensed surveyor before the CSLB by way of a complaint. After consideration of the notification by the Surveyor General, the Board decides whether to accept the complaint. If accepted, the Act requires that a hearing be held. Anyone else may also bring complaints to the Board relating to ‘professional misconduct’ as defined in the Act. As this definition relates mostly to technical matters, complaints from the public are rare. This paper describes the hearing process that has been put in place, the principles that have affected its development and the remedial measures open to the CSLB. By using specific examples, it discusses the nature of errors made in recent cases, indicates their generic causes, and describes what penalties the Board has imposed. The paper comments on the pressures that surveyors have been under over the last decade, principally due to firstly, changes to the cadastral record system and secondly, to an extraordinarily high demand for services, and comments on how these have translated into the professional conduct of surveyors with respect to the cadastre.
Keywords: Professional practice; Standards; Cadastre; Risk management; discipline; ethics